THE GOVERNMENT GAVE over €637 million in overseas aid in 2013. This is a slight increase on 2012’s figure of €628 million.
Launching the Irish Aid’s annual report today, the Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello said that “Irish people can be proud of what their overseas development aid programme has achieved” in the last year.
He said that Ireland is internationally recognised as one of the most effective and responsive aid programmes globally, “particularly for our work on tackling hunger. Our aid is working, as evidenced by the very positive results highlighted in this report,” he added.
The report states that Irish Aid benefited some of the following projects:
- Over €200,000 was given to Goal and €75,000 to Christian Aid to support the provision of essential relief items to vulnerable families in Iraq who have been displaced by the recent fighting. Essential relief items such as blankets, kitchen sets, jerry cans and shelter supplies worth €220,000 were also airlifted from our stocks in Dubai.
- In Tanzania, Irish Aid and partners provided support and technical advice to at least 24 district councils began a targeted programme to tackle hunger and under-nutrition among children under the age of five.
- In South Sudan, the total Irish Government contribution to the South Sudan crisis amounts to almost €5 million to date in 2014.
- In the Central African Republic, Irish Aid provided life-saving emergency assistance to civilians affected by the ongoing conflict in the country. Over €2 million was used to provide food, water, shelter and healthcare for the worst-affected communities.
- In Lesotho, Zambia and Uganda, bursaries were provided for girls attending secondary school.
- In Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Mozambique Irish Aid worked with governments to provide better health services for women and girls. In Mozambique, ‘Waiting Houses’ were built beside hospitals and clinics, where pregnant rural women can stay in the final weeks of their pregnancy and access health services during their labour.
In 2013, Irish Aid also continued to support the work of human rights commissions in a number of countries, including through a capacity building programme implemented by the Irish Human Rights Commission, in Sierra Leone and Malawi.
Irish Aid also helped poor smallholder farmers, especially women, to produce more nutritious food, through funded research to develop better seeds, and to improve planting techniques. They also partnered with Teagasc to share Ireland’s agricultural expertise with partner countries.
Irish Aid also went to support the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.